Author. Story Consultant. Activst.

The Problem - How do we make the world a better place?

Being an author means I spend a lot of time in the mind of my characters. How my characters deal with their reality is a reflection of how I deal with mine. I believe the more internal struggles a character has, the more interesting they are. The same goes for the worlds they inhabit. Figuring out how my characters save their world also forces me into thinking about how we can save ours.

How do we fix the world? How did it get so screwed up in the first place? I think humanity is the short answer. People are the best and worst things about this planet. If more people had banded together in the name of progress instead of wage war we’d all be in a better place now. If people had more tolerance for gender/racial diversity, the world would be in a better place.  We’re all connected. Ideologies divide us. Figuring out and promoting what makes humanity strong is the answer.

The Solution - How can one person make a difference to strengthen humanity?

In books, characters who overcome their inner struggles find their power and use it to help others, maybe to even save the world. We look up to heroes in stories but we don’t always see that power in ourselves. There is an imbalance in the world; a deep void between those who have more wealth than they know what to do with and the less fortunate billions struggling with simple problems like lack clean water, hunger, and homelessness. If you are reading this on a computer or mobile device of some kind, you’re most likely better off than billions of others who are struggling to survive.

My life isn’t perfect but I do what I can to pass my good fortune to the less fortunate. I don’t believe in hand outs, I believe in hand ups. I help those when I can and do a lot through charity. I’m not asking anyone to donate to my causes or make anyone feel guilty. That’s not my point here. Charity is an important part of my life because there is a lot the world has done for me. I’ve done several book promotions where a part of my profits go to the following causes. As I write more books, my plan is to continue to contribute when I can. I do this because it’s important to me, helps others, and in the end, does make the world a better place.

I think the solution to the world’s problems is a mix of people’s empathy toward themselves and others along with charity work. Take care of yourself first, but don’t be afraid to contribute to worthy causes you feel are important. If you don't have money to donate to a cause then donate time with volunteer work or community service.  Teach a class, or help someone learn a trade. Every little bit helps. Why just read about heroes when you can be one?

Sincerely,

Bryan O’Neill


http://www.smiletrain.org/

Smile Train is an international children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Millions of children in developing countries with unrepaired clefts live in shame, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Our sustainable model provides training and funding to empower local doctors in 85+ developing countries to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery in their communities.

http://www.rileykids.org/

Riley is home to the state’s largest pediatric research program, where physician-scientists move their discoveries as quickly as possible to the bedsides of children. Children visit Riley more than 300,000 times each year.

http://www.redcross.org/

The American Red Cross exists to provide compassionate care to those in need. Our network of generous donors, volunteers and employees share a mission of preventing and relieving suffering, here at home and around the world,